Lunar Laser Ranging: A Continuing Legacy of the Apollo Program

  title={Lunar Laser Ranging: A Continuing Legacy of the Apollo Program},
  author={Jean O. Dickey and Peter L. Bender and James E. Faller and X. X. Newhall and Randall L. Ricklefs and Judit Gyorgyey Ries and Peter John Shelus and C. Veillet and Arthur L. Whipple and J. R. Wiant and J. G. Williams and Charles Finney Yoder},
  pages={482 - 490}
On 21 July 1969, during the first manned lunar mission, Apollo 11, the first retroreflector array was placed on the moon, enabling highly accurate measurements of the Earthmoon separation by means of laser ranging. Lunar laser ranging (LLR) turns the Earthmoon system into a laboratory for a broad range of investigations, including astronomy, lunar science, gravitational physics, geodesy, and geodynamics. Contributions from LLR include the three-orders-of-magnitude improvement in accuracy in the… Expand

Paper Mentions

A primary objective of the lunar laser ranging (LLR) experiment is to provide precise observations of the lunar orbit that contribute to a wide range of science investigations. In particular, timeExpand
Tests of Gravity Using Lunar Laser Ranging
  • S. Merkowitz
  • Physics, Medicine
  • Living reviews in relativity
  • 2010
The gravitational science and technology of lunar laser ranging is reviewed and prospects for the future are discussed. Expand
The Moon has played an important role throughout the development of human civilization. It is the only permanent natural satellite of Earth and the closest astronomical object in the universe.Expand
Lunar laser ranging tests of the equivalence principle
The lunar laser ranging (LLR) experiment provides precise observations of the lunar orbit that contribute to a wide range of science investigations. In particular, time series of highly accurateExpand
Apollo:. a New Push in Lunar Laser Ranging
APOLLO (the Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation) is a new effort in lunar laser ranging that uses the Apollo-landed retroreflector arrays to perform tests of gravitational physics.Expand
Lunar Laser Ranging: Glorious Past And A Bright Future
Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR), a part of the NASA Apollo program, has beenon-going for more than 30 years. It provides the grist for a multi-disciplinarydata analysis mill. Results exist for solid EarthExpand
A new application of the lunar laser retroreflectors: Searching for the “local” hubble expansion
Abstract Precise measurements of the Earth-Moon distance by the lunar laser ranging (LLR), which begun in the early 1970's, contributed significantly to geodesy, geophysics, and lunar planetology, asExpand
30 years of lunar laser ranging and the gravitational interaction
The main oscillation amplitudes of the lunar orbit have been measured to precisions of a few millimetres, using data from 30 years of laser ranging to the Moon. Several key tests of the generalExpand
APOLLO : Multiplexed Lunar Laser Ranging
The Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation (APOLLO) is a nextgeneration lunar laser ranging (LLR) campaign aimed at order-of-magnitude improvements in tests of gravitational physicsExpand
The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter Investigation on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission
The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) is an instrument on the payload of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft (LRO) (Chin et al., in Space Sci. Rev. 129:391–419, 2007). The instrument isExpand


Dynamics of the Earth-Moon system
Lunar laser ranging (LLR) has been used to determine the precise orientation of the Earth since the early-1970's. Two observatories currently range with 2.5 centimeter accuracy to a constellation ofExpand
The Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment
The data obtained so far by the McDonald Observatory have been used to generate a new lunar ephemeris based on direct numerical integration of the equations of motion for the moon and planets, which gives improved reference points for use in lunar mapping, and new information on the lunar mass distribution has been obtained. Expand
Laser Ranging Retro-Reflector: Continuing Measurements and Expected Results
After successful acquisition in August of reflected ruby laser pulses from the Apollo 11 laser ranging retro-reflector (LRRR) with the telescopes at the Lick and McDonald observatories, repeatedExpand
Apollo 11 Laser Ranging Retro-Reflector: Initial Measurements from the McDonald Observatory
Measurements of the round-trip travel time of light from the McDonald Observatory to the Laser Ranging Retro-Reflector deployed on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts confirm the prediction of thermal design analyses. Expand
Scientific Achievements From Ten Years of Lunar Laser Ranging (Paper 80R0466)
In the 10 years since lunar laser ranging became a reality the need to analyze the observations has motivated improvements in several aspects of the mathematical model of earth-moon dynamics.Expand
Operation and performance of a lunar laser ranging station.
The observed signal strengths, the success ratios, and the major operating restrictions that have characterized the daily performance of the experiment can be used to optimize the design of such installations in the future. Expand
New Test of the Equivalence Principle from Lunar Laser Ranging
An analysis of six years of lunar-laser-ranging data gives a zero amplitude for the Nordtvedt term in the earth-moon distance yielding the Nordtvedt parameter eta = 0.00 plus or minus 0.03. Thus,Expand
Laser Beam Directed at the Lunar Retro-Reflector Array: Observations of the First Returns
Return signals from an optical retro-reflector array placed on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts were successfully detected with the Lick Observatory and a laser, and it was found that each return signal averaged more than one photoelectron. Expand
Verification of the principle of equivalence for massive bodies. [from lunar retroreflector echo delay data]
Analysis of 1389 measurements, accumulated between 1970 and 1974 of echo delays of laser signals transmitted from Earth and reflected from cube corners on the Moon show gravitational binding energyExpand
Eötvös experiments, lunar ranging and the strong equivalence principle
THE strong form of Einstein's equivalence principle, which dictates that gravitational binding energy will suffer the same acceleration in a uniform gravitational field as all other forms of matterExpand